We are now mid-way through the year and many Uni students are asking themselves, “What can my degree lead to, do I know my career direction, and am I going to get the graduate job I want?” For those entering their final trimester, the questions about ‘what next?’ are even more at the forefront of their intellectual minds.
Research shows investment in higher education does still result in higher earnings plus healthier life styles and an interest in lifelong learning. In New Zealand the report Education Counts found average earnings are 24% higher for those with a tertiary education compared to those with only upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education. The OECD has carried out research on the financial returns of getting a degree (report published recently) across its member countries and there are, of course, differences between countries. The USA reports earnings premiums of 68% for degrees of four years. New Zealand has lower differences in relative earnings due to a number of factors according to our government. These include: “wider changes in the labour market affecting the demand for skills (such as technological change) and rates of pay (such as minimum wage legislation), as well as the supply of skills from education, training and net migration. Differences in earnings may to some extent reflect differences in the supply of graduates or barriers in access to different levels of education.”
However, students still have to secure a graduate-level job in a very competitive global graduate market and we can see some countries suffering more than others. South Africa has 30% graduate unemployment – around 600,000 graduates. Graduates need to be well prepared to meet the requirements employers are looking for and this is not qualifications alone. Do you have the skills employers of graduates are looking for?
Guardian Careers reports that the UK’s latest graduate destinations survey, which takes a snap shot of graduates six months after graduation, shows that graduate jobs are stable over there. There have been headlines in the UK about 35% of graduates not being in professional-level jobs but we need to remember that these are not always interim waitressing jobs but could be entry-level office roles which allow graduates to develop key workplace skills and progress their careers from there.
If you need help with planning your career direction use your University Careers Service and take advantage of attending Careers Expos and forums where you hear from past graduates about their career paths.
Coming up at Victoria University
Science Expo 8 August 2013
Careers with a BA on Kelburn Campus 14 August 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Graduate jobs, Jobs, Looking for work, Trends and statistics